“Pharma Bro” Shkreli Loses Bid To Delay Antitrust Trial

Incarcerated former pharma executive Martin Shkreli failed to delay an antitrust trial over his role in Vyera Pharmaceuticals’ 4,000% mark-up of an anti-parasitic drug, after a federal judge said the trial wouldn’t interfere with his participation in a drug rehabilitation program.

The Vyera founder’s motion to postpone the trial over antitrust claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission also was “untimely,” Judge Denis Cote said in her order Tuesday.

Related: “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli Accused Of Drug Monopoly By Insurer

New York, joined by six states and the Federal Trade Commission, sued Vyera, Shkreli, and other defendants last year alleging anticompetitive efforts to suppress generic competition to maintain a price hike from US$17.50 to US$750 per tablet of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim. The drug is used to treat the potentially fatal infection toxoplasmosis.

The proposed class action accuses them of preventing rivals from capitalizing on the “astronomical” Daraprim price hike—”from US$17.50 to US$750 per tablet”—through resale restrictions in the contracts between Vyera, Phoenixus, and the specialty manufacturers that made the drug’s key ingredients.

Vyera and the defendants had argued “equity does not permit the state plaintiffs (individually or collectively) to pursue nationwide relief on behalf of citizens of other states that are not parties to this litigation.”

Nicknamed “Pharma Bro,” Shkreli is serving a seven-year term for securities fraud. In July, the US government announced that it had sold a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, once owned by Shkreli, to pay off a US$7.36 million forfeiture order tied to the fraud conviction.

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